Kathmandu, Established by the General Assembly in 1987 and operating in Kathmandu since August 2008, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) organized an event for Nepalese youth on peace and disarmament education in commemoration of its 10th anniversary in the country alongside celebrating the International Day of Youth.
The event on 17 August 2018, held at the UN House, had participation from high school and university students from Kathmandu. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Nepal, The Ministry of Youth and Sports and the United Nations addressed the event. Staff from UNRCPD presented on how the Centre’s activities assist States from Asia and the Pacific to achieve their peace, security, and disarmament goals.
The recently launched Agenda for Disarmament “Securing Our Common Future”, by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, underlines the need for more educational opportunities to empower young people for disarmament. By organizing the Peace and Disarmament Education Discussion, UNRCPD aimed to raise awareness and promote ideas on how disarmament contributes to creating the safe spaces that youth need at national, regional and global levels. This builds on the historic work of UNRCPD, the Nepal Curriculum Development Centre Nepal (CDC), the National Centre for Education Development Nepal (NCED) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), of developing materials and tools for children and teachers on peaceful conflict resolution, that have already reached over 400,000 students per year since 2013.
As the Secretary-General states, “Drawing on the enormous initiative, energy and ideas of the world’s young people we must make the most of the power of young women and men as drivers of a culture of peace.” This event placed Nepalese youth at centre stage with dynamic discussions on peace and disarmament issues and on practical approaches, ideas and actions on how they can be agents of change in their communities, promoting a culture of peace and non-violence.